[Foundation-l] What are the assets of the Foundation, anyway?

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Apr 19 21:48:19 UTC 2007

On 4/19/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <cimonavaro at gmail.com> wrote:
> So, speaking as an insignificant member or the community, I would ask
> all the members of the board, speak out openly in support of the
> chair, if you do infact support the direction she is proposing; do not
> just play whack-a-mole with trolls.

:-) Fair comment.

First, about the disclaimer. I also have a position as Executive
Secretary. Sometimes I've used this for official announcements (such
as job positions or resolutions); this is when I leave the disclaimer
off. Otherwise I am speaking in a personal capacity, not for the WMF
or the whole Board.

Yes, I support - as a member of the Board - the direction Florence is
taking in thinking about governance of the WMF. As I pointed out
earlier, I think that this reflects, for the most part, discussions
that have taken place earlier about the role of the Board and the ED,
though it does put them into a more formal framework. I'm thinking
about some pages Florence put on our BoardWiki to see where this
framework might break. I'm not a great fan of following fixed models
(must .. question .. everything), so I'm likely going to challenge
some of the specifics.

I also have to rethink my own proposals on committee reform in light
of Florence's proposal, but I think our ideas are largely in line.
Essentially, we want to work towards more dynamic workgroups under the
control of staff. We haven't had many opportunities to discuss the
whole committee situation yet, for various reasons that I won't get
into. I do think we've made some progress in becoming more
- Sandra has opened up the ComCom by creating a separate, more
participatory, open communications group.
- Internal Wiki / List have a proper access request procedure now and
many new people have been added recently.
- ChapCom has made draft bylaws of new chapters available publicly (I
believe they weren't before)

Cary has been a bit overwhelmed by OTRS and general office work, but I
hope we can get him started on some exciting large scale experiments
in volunteerism soon.

The main problem child, in my view, is the SP-COM, which is supposed
to handle all the exciting project partnerships. There is a lack of
management capacity in the WMF, however, that could follow up on ideas
our volunteers come up with, so we also need to solve that problem.

On transparency, we could certainly do a lot more, but I'm not sure
that more mailing list posts are the answer. One thing that I hope for
is that more Board members will join Planet Wikimedia, and that this
will also become an important way for us to keep the community


I've admittedly not used it as such yet, but I will do so next time
something important comes up. We could also have a sub-planet
specifically for WMF Board & Staff members.

There are many other ideas. It was always clear to me that we could
only make limited progress until my brief term ends, and I hope that I
and my fellow Board members will be given the opportunity to continue
to do our best to improve WMF.
Peace & Love,

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

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